Marchand off to a good start

October, 21, 2009
10/21/09
11:35
PM ET

BOSTON -- It was a night of firsts Wednesday for Bruins rookie Brad Marchand, who made his NHL debut and registered an assist on Michael Ryder's goal 26 seconds into the second period.


"It was pretty special," Marchand said after he helped the Bruins rally past Nashville to win 3-2 at TD Garden. "I was all smiles after that. (Zdeno Chara) got me the puck, so it was pretty cool. Pretty cool feeling to get my first point in my first NHL game, so it's something I'll always remember."

Marchand skated on a line with Ryder and Patrice Bergeron, a trio that practiced together Tuesday.

"The same thing the coaches have been talking about for the past three or four days now is just competing and bringing as much energy to the table as you can," said Marchand, who was called up from Providence on Sunday. "I just wanted to work hard and bring as much energy as I possibly could."

Falling in line

Before the game, coach Claude Julien said that, with all the new faces, he would adjust his line combinations as needed during the game. But with Boston down 1-0 and getting outshot 7-5 after the first period, Julien kept his four lines intact.

Only the unit of Marchand, Bergeron and Ryder had any practice time together. David Krejci centered Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi; Steve Begin was center for Daniel Paille and Byron Bitz; and Trent Whitfield was flanked by Vladimir Sobotka and Blake Wheeler.

"You've got to give them a chance, and I didn't feel that it was so much the line combinations more than it was everybody, even our players that were here, were kind of tentative and playing on our heels," Julien said. "And the same thing on our back end. All around, I thought basically we were playing afraid to lose.

"That happens sometimes when you go through these kinds of stretches that we've had since the beginning of the year. The confidence level is certainly not where it should be right now, and that's what you've got to start rebuilding right here. Confidence obviously gives you more energy, and I thought as the game went on we started feeling better about ourselves."

Added Begin, who scored the winner at 8:33 of the third period: "It took us a period to get used to each other, and after that we were going, we were skating, we had a few chances and we got a goal tonight. So that's a bonus for us."

Ins and outs

Defenseman Dennis Wideman returned after missing three games with an upper-body injury and reported no ill effects -- other than a battle with some less-than-stellar ice conditions. "My hands weren't ready for that," he said. … Forward Shawn Thornton missed the game with an undisclosed injury. Julien said that Thornton would accompany the team on its road trip to Philadelphia (Thursday) and Ottawa (Saturday).

Matt Kalman

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. He has been on the Bruins beat since the lockout for numerous publications and has been covering the Boston sports scene for a decade.

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